Jacques Cousteau made Pigeon Island world famous several decades ago by declaring it to be one of the world’s top dive sites. The waters surrounding the island are now protected as the Reserve Cousteau. The place is an underwater paradise teeming with fish and coral reefs to explore. Naturally, snorkelling and diving are the main activities here but the island itself is just as nice to relax a bit and enjoy the sun.
Le Moule once was an early French capital of Guadeloupe. Besides that, it was an important Native American settlement before the colonial period. It is one of the most authentic provincial towns on Guadeloupe and has a bustling main street, fish market and a scenic harbor. There have been archaeological excavations in the region and Guadeloupe’s archaeological museum, on the outskirts of town, is well worth a visit.
The town square has several historic buildings, including the town hall and a Neoclassical Catholic church. Along the river are some ruins from an old customs building and a fortress dating back to the French colonial times. Nearby is tranquil beach with reef-protected waters at L’Autre Bord, about one kilometer out of town. Baie du Moule, on the west side of town is equally popular, mainly with kayakers and surfers.
Guadeloupe has some fine beaches. Although some like St. Anne are very touristy and packed with people on most days, there are some more secluded areas the further you go from the main towns and tourist spots. Grande Anse is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island with white sands, palm trees and turquoise waters.
Guadeloupe has some fine examples of refreshing waterfalls, which makes for a welcome relief after a bus ride or drive by car. Some of them are just near the road while others are set deep in the hilly jungle and require some more strenuous walking. Either way, having been to Guadeloupe without seeing any waterfall is a shame and almost impossible!
La Soufrière is the volcano that dominates the island. Very often in the clouds, the summit nevertheless remains accessible after 2-3 hours of walking. The vegetation changes gradually as we ascend to the summit at 1467 metres, from the dense tropical forest to grasslands. Sulfur fumaroles escape from volcanic mouths. In return, it is possible to swim in warm water basins “les bains jaunes“.
Other amazing sights to see and activities
- St François – for views to the islands west of the main island of Guadeloupe
- Musée St-John Perse – Point-a-Pitre
- Outer islands – reachable by ferry and some of them much quieter